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AWFS: LET'S END ON A HIGH

2 May 2014

Boss wants to beat Plymouth before turning focus to next season

Three managers and a flirt with relegation – it’s been another eventful season at Fratton Park.

Pompey started the campaign as favourites for promotion with most bookmakers.

But a few weeks ago, the final day clash with Plymouth looked like it would decide their Football League fate.

Six games unbeaten since Andy Awford took charge – a run which included five successive victories – put those fears to bed, however.

And the new Blues boss is looking to end on a high before starting to plan the 2014/15 campaign.

“It’s crazy that we were favourites to go up last summer,” said Awford. “The bookies don’t often get it wrong, but they did on this occasion.

“That was based on us having the number of supporters we do – but unfortunately the fans can’t play.

“They give us a massive backing and have played such an important part since I’ve been involved in the last few weeks.

“The support here is second to none – they know that and I know that.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season and now we need some stability and calmer waters.

“Once Saturday’s out the way we’ll have to sit down and make some sensible decisions about how we move forward.

“But we’ll embrace the atmosphere that we know is coming this weekend and look to end the season with three more points.”

Pompey will finish above John Sheridan’s Plymouth side and in the League Two top 10 with victory this weekend.

Awford said: “We’ve heard good reports about them and I think they’ll go close next season.

“They’ve had a little dip of late because at one stage they looked nailed on to get into the play-offs.

“But John’s done a great job down there and we know it’s going to be a really tough game for us.

“They’ll want a top-10 finish as much as we do and are bringing a few fans here, so they will have plenty of motivation.”

Romain Padovani is available again after recovering from a calf injury, but Andy Barcham (thigh), Ryan Bird (groin) and Simon Ferry (back) are all still sidelined.

Pompey are 11/10 favourites with Sky Bet to win on Saturday. Open an account at www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and to earn money for the club.

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